Fruition: A Spoken Word Poem


Hey ladies and gentlemen, my good friend and spiritual leader, Joshua Healey, made a video that expresses God’s truth and promise.  I encourage you to take 2 minutes to watch his video.  I have below the video the lyrics from this spoken word poem, and if anyone has any questions about what he means in this video, I encourage you to get a hold of me.

Fruition

By Joshua Healey

 

I am miserably lost, I just can’t find it

It’s like being a million miles from the treasure,

And yet you’re standing right behind it.

I’ve been searching everywhere for acceptance,

But all the more I am denied it.

And even on my brighter days,

It’s impossible to hide it.

See, how can I conceal this canyon inside of my soul?

While I am under this rolling erosion, a hopeless implosion,

Rotting away, like there’s no shot today,

For me to be whole.

Constantly feeling purposeless, like setting a thousand glamorous goals.

And reaching every last one, without ever understanding my role…

This cycle eats away, like a chewer’s mouth full of Skoal.

Alone, Like the unredeemable separation the south feels from the North Pole.

And trying to make everything appear ok, it does nothing in this cold,

It’s like taking manure and coating it in gold.

With all due respect, please don’t provide me with directions, where I will be told

To grab a copy of “finding happiness for dummies”, I’ll never be sold.

 

Well perhaps this diagnosis is a wretched discontentment,

Disconnected from true value, from true meaning left bereft.

Where life violently rips any piece of peace we’re left with.

And kicks us to the curb,

We are disturbed by our versions of happiness that turned out to be myths.

Misled by the talking heads and their masquerade of tricks.

Meanwhile the media loudly whispers “cheap thrills will make you rich”.

And this, I beg to fix.

But I can’t be in the mix,

I must trust in Something greater to free me from this glitch.

Like Someone who knows the sting of a thorn, but loves despite the prick.

Is there a Source of meaning,

In a lost and unraveling world, a stitch?

If there was, I’d be fixed.

I’d be broken but I’d be fixed,

In the same exact way you fix a fire with broken sticks.

And such meaning I wish to find,

Because all my life, these “meanings” I’ve missed.

No doctor do I know to tote an antidote like this.

To medicate my identity,

One that’s lost in deep remiss.

Well perhaps we’re searching for restoration,

From the God that we’ve dismissed.

But refused to admit we missed him, because our hearts are sick.

But I guess some of us would rather die from this disease than feel the healing prick.

 

So we cry out,

What I covet, what I hold, please remove it from my fists.

I beg of you to take it though my flesh resists this risk.

Please bring to fruition within me, the work that pierced Your wrists.

Breathing meaning into my life, the only meaning that exists.

 

By Joshua Healey

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The Brother who was Called James


James; the brother of Jesus Christ.  An amazing character in the saga of the early Christian church.  But James didn’t start out as an amazing man, but as a confused individual who knew nothing of God’s plan for his life.

James wasn’t a great leader at first.  He didn’t believe in the person of Jesus Christ. He didn’t believe Jesus, his own brother.  He thought Jesus was confused and mentally unstable. He was ashamed of how Jesus presented himself, and he couldn’t understand the motives behind Jesus’ work.

Jesus actually hints at James’ unbelief when Jesus says in Mark 6:4 (NLT), “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.”

James was a nobody, and the doubt in his heart kept him from seeing the amazing works that Jesus was performing daily among the Jews and gentiles.  His doubt separated him from God, and that separation is an experience that is prevalent in many of us today.  We are yearning for something, but we just can’t quite figure out what IT is.  God calls us to put down the doubt, throw away the lack of faith and and let God pick you up from the ashes.

It took a while for James to realize this.  Jesus’ death on the cross wasn’t enough, The rumors and eye witnesses of the apostles claiming they had seen the risen Jesus wasn’t enough.

But when Jesus appeared to James, he realized he was wrong the whole time.  Jesus’ appearance to James isn’t in the gospels, but it is in 1 Corinthians 15:7 (NLT), Paul writes that Jesus “… was seen by James, and later by all the apostles.”

James went on to be the overseer of the Christian church in Jerusalem.  He became an amazing leader, and ultimately was martyred for his belief in Jesus Christ as the messiah.

But now, we are full of doubt, as humans, we want to be able to see so we can believe. But nevertheless, God is still there with open arms.  It doesn’t matter if we go to church every day, or have never stepped foot into one.  It doesn’t matter who you are, what you’ve done, where you’ve been or how you’ve done it. God loves us all, and Jesus’ mercy is for all.  God’s grace is stronger than doubt, and definitely larger than any sin you or I have ever committed.

If you want to learn more about God’s grace, I strongly recommend looking up Romans chapter 5, and if you want to ask me questions, ask me, and I’ll get in touch with you.

 

I Didn’t Know That


The other day, I was looking through some old things, and found an old Gamecube system. I plugged it in and it still worked amazingly.  It’s crazy to think that the Gamecube system came out in 2001, and that now, 12 years later, it still works great.  Well anyways there’s tons of things that I didn’t know, and so this blog is about amazing facts and beautiful truths.  Socrates said, “The more I learn, the more I learn how little I know.” I just wanna expand my own mind and learn some new facts and truths.  I hope you enjoy.

Did you know that the land owned by DisneyWorld is larger than 17 other countries.  And if you think about it, probably all the visitors to DisneyWorld each day make up a larger population than those countries.  I think I already knew this one, but your left lung is smaller than your right lung, to make room for the heart.  That’s pretty cool, I wonder if the left lung ever got bullied in high school by the right?  Lame joke, I know.  Mandarin Chinese is the most spoken language in the world.  It is spoken by 1.07 billion people worldwide.  Soon enough, Mandarin is going to be taught in public schools.  Did you know that the length from your elbow to your wrist is the same size as your foot?  Anyone reading is now probably trying to measure their elbow next to their foot. I did the first time I read it.  Daddy Longlegs are not spiders.  Even thought they are called Daddy Longleg spiders, they are not spiders.  Weird!   Oh this is cool, giraffes sleep only 20 minutes per day.  That’s probably because they don’t want to be sleeping when the lions creep up.  I had a dream last night, but I don’t remember it.  I only remember that i did indeed dream.  That’s because you forget 90% of all dreams you have, and I feel as if I remember bad dreams more often than I remember good dreams.  I didn’t know that a chicken is the closest relative to the t-rex dinosaur.  Did you know that a group of unicorns is called “a blessing of unicorn”.  This is a funny one, former President George W. Bush was once a cheerleader.  That is quite funny.  If you search the word “recursion” on Google, it will ask you if you meant the word “recursion”.  It’s true, I tried it.

This is a big one.  Did you know that God sent His son Jesus Christ to save the world?  Did you know that the God of the universe, knew each one of us by name before we were born.  He knew how many hairs we would ever have on our heads, and He loved us so much, that He gave His only son, Jesus Christ, as a perfect sacrifice.  I know John 3:16 is used a lot, but it is a perfect testament to what God did for the world.

John 3:16   (NKJV)  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

God did not want to be apart from His creation.  In the garden of Eden, whether it was theoretical or literal, God’s creation was perfect, and without flaw, and most importantly, without sin.  But humans wanted more than perfection. Humans wanted to be like God, and they sinned.  God promised His creation that he would send a messiah.  A perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world.  One that was blameless and without fault.  One that had the power and authority to forgive sins and heal the blind.  The messiah, the sacrifice, concrete-crossthe son of God, is Jesus Christ.  He came to the world, he lived a perfect and blameless life. He taught many and healed the sick.  He forgave sins and allowed the children to come to him.  But, some were skeptical, and didn’t believe that His power was indeed from the God of heaven.  They beat him, and had him executed on a cross for all to see.  While He died, he was mocked, but He asked God to forgive them because they didn’t understand. After three days of death, he rose from the grave.  The power of death was not strong enough to contain Him.  Jesus Christ said He was the only way to reach God.  He said in John 14:6,

John 14:6 (NIV)  “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'”

And if you don’t know that, I urge you to seek Him.  Ask God and you shall receive.

The Cop Out


In the last week or so, I haven’t really had much to say.  I could tell you that writing was pushed to the side during my Thanksgiving break, but that would definitely be a lie.  I thought about writing.  I ached over the fact that I hadn’t written.  To be totally honest, I was blank, and couldn’t think of anything worthwhile to write about.  But now I have something.  And it’s something I actually take to heart.  It’s important to me.  I’m going to write about something that deeply upsets me.  I do it, and I find that many around me, at my Christian University do too.

At my school, each student is required to partake in a “course” called CSER.  It stands for Christian Service, or Community Service, and many call it C-Serve.  Because I transferred into Liberty University this last year, I had never participated in CSER.  I went out job hunting so to speak, and I found a health and rehabilitation center here in Lynchburg that caters to the elderly.  It’s similar to an elderly home, but most of the patients here are younger, but have physical problems or illnesses that require constant monitoring.

Now I’ll dive into what upsets me.

I’ve been going since September.  And since then I have become friends with a few of the elderly gentlemen that live there.  There is one elderly man, whom I shall call Bob, that I have become good friends with.  I’m upset with myself because there will be days and weeks where I tell myself I’m too busy to go to hang out with Bob.  Every time I go, I enjoy Bob’s company.  We have great talks.  I really enjoy going, and every time when I leave, Bob thanks me for coming and spending time with him.  I am disgusted with myself because some days I’ll say I have too much homework to do, and then I’ll waste my time on Facebook.  I could be really making a difference in the lives of many people, but I sit on Liberty campus.  Nevertheless, I do go.  I’m glad I go, and I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else for CSER.

The fact that I don’t spend a lot of time at the health and rehabilitation center does upset me,  but there is something else that upsets me even more.

There are so many CSER opportunities out in the community.  There are tons, just to name a few, working at an elderly home, working for Habitat for Humanity, Invisible Children, volunteering at the hospital, or anything out in the community.  But I find that most people at Liberty find really horrible CSER opportunities.  Instead of being out in the community, where people need Christians, and Christians are needed to serve, like Jesus, they decide to do a CSER right here on Liberty University campus.  WHY?  The word of God and presence of Christians is already right here on campus.  But in Lynchburg, only 2 miles away from campus, I don’t find Liberty University students doing CSER.  People can choose to do a CSER on campus where they sit in a professor’s office and do paperwork, or you can work for the Liberty security and do office work for them.  To someone in the community, looking in on CSER, it would seem as if Liberty is just getting free labor.  I, as a Liberty student, see it that way too.

God has called Christians to be out and among the community.  If we are going to do Christian service, or COMMUNITY service, then Serve The Community. Working on campus for Liberty is a cop out.  God desires every one in the community to follow Him, and if we aren’t in the community, and off Liberty campus, how is that going to ever happen?  If  the CSER isn’t out in the community, then call it Liberty free service, where you work freely for Liberty that is right now spending 50 million dollars on their new Library.  They have the money pay people to work on campus, but they can’t pay people to love and care and desire a change in the community.

Fellowship


I realized something yesterday, that I had missed over the last few months.  Last semester, I was on leadership here at Liberty University and every Monday night, we had a prayer group and small devotional with the leadership.  This year, it took a few months for me to get into leadership, and yesterday wasn’t my first day on leadership, but due to other circumstances, it was my first day being involved in the leadership prayer group.  I must say that while I sat there listening to the devotional we received, I realized that in the last few months I missed that fellowship.

Our prayer group is made up of all the leadership on the dorm, and we are all Christians.  What’s different from this prayer group and the normal prayer group each week, is that this one is for the leaders, while the regular one is by the leaders for the guys in our dorm who may or may not be followers of Christ.  While the prayer groups for the regular guys on the dorm is really good, the fellowship and devotional within the leadership prayer group was just so much better.  Everyone within the group participated, and brought something different to the table.  We each had a knowledge of the Bible, and so we all were able to discuss, instead of just listen.

What I realized last night, is that as a Christian guy, I don’t only need Christian friends, but I need to fellowship with them and dig into the Bible and learn with them.  We need to support each other, and pray with each other.  I needed to be a part of this leadership prayer group as of the beginning of school, but since I didn’t have one during the summer, I didn’t really miss it.  But then when I experienced it, I realized that I had missed it, and that I needed it.

 

 

The Story of Djonke


First of all, before I start my story, I want to give you some background knowledge.  The name Djonke is pronounced with a silent D, and that his name in its native language means slave.  This story takes place in Bamako, Mali.  Mali is situated in West Africa, above Ivory Coast and to the south of Morocco.  This took place in French, and the year is 1998.  This is a true story.

The Story of Djonke

Hello, my name is Djonke, I am twelve years old, and I live in Bamako.  I don’t live with my parents, because they are right now in the country of Zambia.  My father is a diamond miner, and my mother stays with him.  They never had enough money to take care of me, so right now, I live with my uncle here in Bamako.  About a year ago, an American family moved into the house beside me.  They have a son, named Zachary, and I have become really good friends with him.  We do almost everything together, we fish, and even hunt lizards together with our homemade slingshots.  In the street, we play soccer with all the other kids from the area; dodging the traffic and the sewer since it runs right through the middle of the road.  I started talking to Zachary and his parents about their belief, and why anyone living in the United States would ever want to come to Africa.  They told me that they were Christians and believed that their mission in life was to bring people to know Jesus Christ personally.

I got interested in what they were teaching.  Every week, besides playing with Zachary, I would come over and listen to them teach about the Bible.  This Jesus character was very interesting, and if what they taught was true, I wanted to be a part of it.  Over the next few months, I learned more and more.  They gave me my own bible in French, and I took it to my house and hid it underneath my mattress.  I had to hide it because my whole family is Islamic and if they found out I was interested in Christianity, I could be in danger.  Because I share my bed with a few of my cousins, my bible was found, and my uncle interrogated me over it, and beat me because of it.  I went to Zachary’s family in tears.  I decided to leave my Bible at his house and come study it when I got out of school before going over to my house.  I learned more and more, and I believed that Jesus Christ was in fact the savior and that God had sent him to save the world of their sins.

I was a believer, and now, I too was a Christian.

It was around March now, and my uncle realized that I had drifted away from the Muslim faith and had become a Christian.  He was furious and treated me as an outcast.  Being beat by him was normal, and my cousins treated me like a disease.

A few days before Easter, my uncle came to me with a VHS tape, and three nails.  He said that on Easter, the whole family was going to ridicule me for what I believed in.  He said they were all going to beat me, and they would watch the VHs tape he had which was the Jesus film.  They would mock Jesus, and then as the crucifixion came, they would nail those three nails through my hands and feet mocking my faith.

I went over to Zachary’s house and talked to his parents, I was crying, and they shared in my sympathy.  I decided that I truly believed that God had sent his son Jesus, and that my faith in Christ was true.  If this was going to happen to me because of my faith, so be it.  I prayed that God would save me from this torture.

Easter day arrived, and I was afraid for my life.  I did not run, but I prayed that I would be saved.  All day I waited, and my uncle was no where to be seen.

It turns out that my uncle had had car trouble the day before Easter.  He never made it home that night.  During Easter day, he spent the whole day trying to get the car fixed in town and never even returned to the house.  When he did return, he had lost all memory of what he had planned to do to me.  No one in my family mentioned it, and somehow, he never brought it up again.

I returned to Zachary’s family in tears, this time tears of joy.  God had saved me from a man who hated me and truly wanted me dead.  I continued to be good friends with Zachary and his family, and got connected with other believers in the area.

Zachary’s family had to leave in 2000, they had been re-assigned to another part of the world and had to go.  I continued to grow in my faith, and being able to fellowship with other believers in the area really helped me.

Now, in 2012, I have been reunited with my birth mother, and she lives with me now. I came to find out I had younger siblings, and now, my mother and younger siblings have become Christians.  Jesus christ is real, and has changed my very existence.

When It Is Finished


Two days ago, I went running in downtown Lynchburg.  The weather was great; a perfect day to go running.  As I was running on the path, I passed an overweight gentleman who wore a weighted vest and was speed walking.  I presumed he was drastically trying to lose weight the best he could.  As I passed him, he nodded at me in a friendly gesture, and I replied, “how are you doing today?”  As I kept running, I heard his reply.  He said, “we’ll see when it’s finished.”  I guess he was in some pain from working out, and wouldn’t be able to tell how he really was doing until it was over.  This brought up a theological point to my mind.  Many people in this world don’t believe they can know their position in the eyes of God.  For Christians, we know exactly where our position with God is.

God doesn’t tell us that if we believe in Jesus Christ, we might be saved.  He tells us that if we believe in Jesus Christ, we will surely be saved.

John 3:16 NLT  “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

This is a common verse, that many people quote everyday.  We don’t have to wait for the finish to know whether or not we are acceptable in the eyes of God. Because of God’s son Jesus, everyone who believes in Jesus Christ is made acceptable by Christ’s sacrifice.

The book of 1st John is a perfect read if you struggle with wondering whether or not God’s grace covers you.

1 John 5:11-13 NLT “And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life , and this life is in his Son.  12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life.  13 I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life.”

There is no doubt.  If we believe in the Son of God, Jesus Christ, we have no doubt that we are saved.  We do not have to wait until the journey is over to find out how we did, or what “grade” we got.  Believing in Jesus Christ as our savior is the way to salvation, and the Bible clearly tells us that we can be sure of it.